Argumentative Paper

The paper should be an “argumentative” paper, that is, you should expand on a topic, point, or thesis, and convey your best supportive arguments for it. An “argumentative” paper does not mean you are going to “argue”, and this should be self-explanatory, but some students ask me this question regularly. An argumentative paper is a paper in which you advance a thesis framed in form of a question; that distinguishes it from a purely “descriptive paper”. In other words, let’s say you are interested on Erickson’s stages of development. Rather than writing a paper describing the stages of development, I rather you ask for example “Were Erickson’s own struggles with identity part of his motivation for his theory”? Now we have a good paper on the making.  You should also note the facts or factors that counter your argument. Finally, you should write a summary or conclusion that takes into account the arguments pro and con.

As with any other good paper, you should have an introduction, a main body of the paper (separated in sections as needed) and a conclusion. Since I want you to use APA style, your paper should also have a short Abstract and a Bibliography (3 to 5 citations), and should be free of misspellings errors. The length of the paper should be at least 2000 words.

In summary, your paper should follow this outline:

The paper should be written using APA format ONLY, and it should be minimum -2,000words long not counting title page and bibliography. The paper has to have a title page, followed by an Abstract in which summarizes the main idea of your paper. Then you should have an introduction followed by the main body of your paper. Finally a Conclusion and a Bibliography. Therefore your paper outline should be as follows:

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Main body of your paper
  5. Conclusion

If you have never written an APA style paper I suggest you consult your Librarian for guidance or information on APA style. 

Here is a limited List of approved topics. You are not bound to follow this list and may choose to write on another topic, which is fine. However, your chosen topic needs to relate to the description, goals and subject matter for this course. Fringe topics (UFO’s for example) are not appropriate and if you worry about it, better check with me.


  • Identity (issues, development, gender, concerns, need for, etc)
  • The Self, Being, Personhood, etc.
  • Gender Issues
  • Freedom and choice, Self-actualization
  • Psychopathology (as it relates to Personal Growth)
  • Personality (development, characteristics, etc)
  • Stress, Resilience.
  • Philosophical bases for Personhood, growth, Self-actualization
  • Psychological theories related to Self-actualization or Personal growth
  • The meaning of Being Human
  • Interpersonal relationships (conflict, resolution, marriage, friendship, etc)
  • Sex, love, compassion, altruism.
  • Death and dying (as a context for a more fulfilling life), Illness.
  • Spirituality, myth and self-growth, etc.
  • Improving the quality of your life (money, work, values, and vocation).
  • Analysis of a life history (Biography) that may illustrate some topics we discuss in here.
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